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Montana Field Guides

Nodding Onion - Allium cernuum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links






State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
This is our most common and widespread Allium species.
 
General Description
Bulbs elongate-ovoid, solitary or clustered; outer coat membranous with elongate cells, pink beneath. Scapes terete, 10–40 cm, sometimes >1 per bulb. Leaves 3 to 7, flat, 2–6 mm wide, persistent. Umbel nodding, hemispheric with 5–40 flowers; pedicels 8–15 mm long; bracts 2, lanceolate, acute. Flowers white to pink; tepals 4–6 mm long; ovary with prominent triangular crests; stamens exserted. Seed surface smooth to minutely roughened (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
BC to ON south to AZ, NM, TN and WV (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1720

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Meadows, grasslands, woodlands, open forest; plains, valleys to subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Ecology
POLLINATORS
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus bifarius, Bombus centralis, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus huntii, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus occidentalis, and Bombus bohemicus (Macior 1974, Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Koch et al. 2012, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014, Williams et al. 2014).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
    • Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Fogelsong, M.L. 1974. Effects of fluorides on Peromyscus maniculatus in Glacier National Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 52 p.
    • Grove, A.J. 1998. Effects of Douglas fir establishment in southwestern Montana mountain big sagebrush communities. M. Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 150 p.
    • Guenther, G.E. 1989. Ecological relationships of bitterbrush communities on the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Matlock-Cooley, S.J. 1993. Interaction between Deermice, Antelope Bitterbrush, and cattle in southwest Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University 84 p.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Rosgaard, A.I., Jr. 1981. Ecology of the mule deer associated with the Brackett Creek winter range in the Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Saunders, J.K., Jr. 1954. A two-year investigation of the food habits and range use of the Rocky Mountain goat in the Crazy Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 22 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
    • Simanonok, M. 2018. Plant-pollinator network assembly after wildfire. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 123 p.
    • Wiman, N.G. 2001. Dynamics of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) infested plant communities influenced by flea beetles in the Aphthona complex (Colepotera: Chrysomelidae). M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 148 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Nodding Onion — Allium cernuum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from